TEMBA reaches out to Afghanistan

by Paul BoergerFirst published in the Mount Shasta HeraldOctober 31, 2007 The Afghanistan Bureau of Reconciliation put out an international request for non-violent training, and Mount Shasta-based Temba Elementary School teacher Catherine Cadden and her students have answered the call. Read the full article in PDF format here.

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Take out the garbage. Who, me?

Original publication date: 12-29-05
In Sonoma Sun by Joan Huguenard


What might be the reaction when a little kid is asked to do something unpleasant?

Catherine Cadden, an extraordinary peacemaker barely mentioned in last week’s column, knows the answer need not be the automatic response of habit.

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A letter from Naghmeh (the translator for our trip)

Dear Catherine, Jesse, and Jiva,

Here is a letter I've been meaning to write for a long time. Some of these thoughts and phrases have been with me since Afghanistan. Others are offspring of hindsight; slowly forming in the womb of my soul as I took my time to fathom the true extends to which my experience with you has impacted on me. In essence, this letter is an attempt at acknowledging what each of you, in your uniqueness as a person, have meant to my experience.

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Scary Honesty

I would not want to paint Afghanistan to be any different than another place where the domination culture has suppressed women. So hear my words and understand this is speaking to one of the toughest conflicts we face…gender.

Standing at the outside gate being told our plane had left 2 hours before what we had been told was the scheduled time stimulated more than just an annoyance of miscommunication. As I stood surrounded by at least 50 men (including the two I am traveling with), completely aware I am the only woman in sight I felt my legs take root. I could not move when Jesse and Jiva and Said began to return to the car. And I was the only one to notice. With attention to each cell of my being I focused my energy so I could remove myself from that spot to follow them back to the car. I notice my field of energy quite large as the groupings of men parted like the red sea to let me through. Traveling as much as I do I am completely aware and quite use to changes, cancellations, delays of flights and even sleeping in airports. And somehow this news of not getting our expected flight was quite different in my body’s response.

 

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